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What I don't understand is why there is the need by so many to chastise those who don't believe or choose the same lifestyle they do. Who are we as a people to say someone can or cannot live "happily ever after" based on the fact their lifestyle differs from our own? What happened to the "melting pot" of America? The idea that what makes this country the best on the planet is the fact that we welcome anyone and everyone looking for a better life with open arms. It practically says that (far more eloquently than I can) at the Statue of Liberty with the quote from poet Emma Lazarus that states,

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Somewhere along the line, it feels like an addendum has been added that should read, "...as long as you fall in line with the majority."

The most ridiculous argument to me is that Wednesday's decision somehow lessened, or weakened the institute of marriage for straight people like me (because some of us have clearly done such a great job preserving it all these years). I can tell you when I woke up Thursday morning, my marriage was no different than it was when it started nearly 11 years ago, and having the federal government allow two men or two women enjoy the same benefits as we do in states that recognize gay couples didn't screw it up.

As a Catholic, I was raised to live by the "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" mentality of the Golden Rule. If a gay person has no issues with me being married to a woman, why should I have any problem with he, or she, being married to another man or woman? I shouldn't. And I don't.

Perhaps my mentality on the subject stems from the fact that I've not necessarily lived all aspects of my life like many of my Catholic friends, most of whom have gone on to marry other Catholics, have kids, and baptize them as Catholics. Which is perfectly OK by me, that's their life, and that's how they choose to live it, so who am I to judge? While we were married at my church, my wife was raised Baptist, and we made the decision years ago to raise our children to be Christian, but leave it up to them to decide whether or not they want to belong to a specific religion when they get older. Is my way the wrong way? No. Is their way the right way? No. We're all great friends (for nearly 30 years in some cases), and it's not an issue.

And I think that's the point I'm trying to make here. If we could all just respect each other's beliefs, even if they don't jive with our own, we'd all be better off for it. You may agree, or you may disagree, and that's alright. That's the point. This is the "United" States of America. Let's start acting like it.